NEPD Staff Writer: Doug Kyed
Are you guys ready for a bold prediction?
I believe the Patriots are going to beat the Colts on Sunday afternoon. I know, I know, I’m really going out on a limb with that one, but I really think the Patriots stand a chance to come away from Gillette with a victory.
This isn’t going to be your typical pregame article, because there’s really not much to be worried about with this year’s team. The biggest thing we have to worry about is which end zone is Dan Orlovsky going to run out of to cause a safety.
Here are some things I’m looking out for in Sunday’s game:
DON’T LET MATHIS AND FREENEY GET TO BRADY
That’s really the biggest concern of this game. Mathis and Freeney are still elite players and we don’t want to see the Patriots offensive line get embarrassed and get Brady killed.
I’m expecting Sebastian Vollmer to be out for this game, and if he is that probably means that Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon will be filling in for him. It will be nice to get an extended look at Cannon, since we still don’t really know what the Patriots have from him, nor do we know if he’ll be a guard or a tackle during his NFL career.
GET SOME BACKUP OL SOME REPS
This goes along with the above point about Cannon. We don’t know whether Ryan Wendell will be able to go Sunday, and if he’s not able to, we’ll see either Nick McDonald or Donald Thomas at center. Even if Wendell does play, we might as well see what we have in those guys.
I also wouldn’t mind seeing Matt Light take some snaps off. It’s important to keep Light healthy since he’s been banged up recently and playing below his usual talent level.
GET SOME SNAPS FOR “LEFT BENCH”
Greg Bedard from the globe recently said he expects a big game from “left bench.” For me, that means I’d like to see some extended playing time from Ochocinco, Taylor Price, Jermaine Cunningham, Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Ron Brace, Tiquan Underwood etc.
Sure, it might not be the best competition to prove themselves against, but it will at least give us a hint as to what the Pats have with those players.
Belichick’s hinting at more of a full time role for Edelman at cornerback and that’s something I’d love to see. I love his instincts out on defense and he seems to know what he’s doing out there more and more each week. I really believe that the release of Phillip Adams could mean big things for Edelman.
It probably also means that McCourty will be back and during sub packages Antwaun Molden will come in across from McCourty while Arrington will go back to handling the slot where he really excels.
If McCourty and Chung are back this week, I’d like to see them eased back into their roles. The Patriots don’t face an elite passer for the rest of the season, but the Patriots will really need those guys come playoff time.
That’s about it. The Patriots are favored by 20 points in this game and frankly, if they somehow lost, it would actually be kind of funny. Obviously I wouldn’t mind getting Brandon Spikes or Dane Fletcher back for this game, but I’m fully expected them to be inactive again and New England will need them much more against the Broncos run attack.